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Environment

IN FOCUS / 2018-06-08

Nitrogen oxide emissions despite reduction still too high in road transport

The EU Commission has referred Germany and five other countries to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) because air pollution levels are too high in many cities and regions. Germany has especially broken limits on levels of nitrogen oxides. Even though, according to provisional calculations, pollution caused by road transport declined by 42.4% between 2005 and 2016, the relevant EU limits are still exceeded.

Compared with the overall situation, nitrogen oxide emissions from private cars (vehicles of households) decreased slightly less by 40%. The situation is different regarding particulate matter: while emissions from private vehicles declined by 42.7%, road transport emissions as a whole decreased by no more than 37.2%. In addition, the CO2 balance of households (7.4% reduction) was better than the overall situation which was even characterised by a 3% increase in CO2 emissions (excl. biofuels).

Against the background of the diesel scandal, it is worth looking at the emissions from private diesel vehicles: in 2016, they accounted for 39.8% of the CO2 emissions of households in road transport, for 77% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 18.7% of particulate emissions. Detailed results of road transport exhaust emissions will be published in the fourth quarter of 2018.

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© Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis), 2018

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